Integrated waste management through producers and consumers education: composting of vegetable crop residues for reuse in cultivation

J Environ Sci Health B. 2004 Jan;39(1):169-83. doi: 10.1081/pfc-120027447.


As part of the design of an integrated waste management scheme through the use of the PRECEDE/PROCEED model in the area of Crete, data concerning the applicability of composting in various agricultural wastes was considered as necessary. Vegetable residues from tomato, cucumber, eggplant, and pepper crops were collected, shredded and composted either alone or with the use of olive press cake, olive tree leaves, and branches and vine branches as bulking agents. Seven random combinations--mixtures of the above materials were composted using windrows, where additional four similar windrows were made up by approximately 10 m3 of the above mentioned vegetable crop residues. All windrows were turned four times during the eight weeks thermophylic phase, with the help of a mechanical turner. A large number of physiochemical parameters were monitored in the raw materials, at the end of the thermophylic phase and at the end of the maturation phase. The temperature which was monitored daily, recorded the highest values (above 55 degrees C) in the windrows where bulking agents were used. All raw vegetable crop residues and their mixtures presented increased electrical conductivity values (above 5 mS/cm and up to 9.7 mS/cm) resulting to end products with respectively high EC values (above 3 mS/cm and up to 15 mS/cm) probably due to the presence of large amounts of soil, rich in fertilisers, attached to the roots of the plants. There was no detection of any remains of the 13 pesticides for which all 11 composts were tested for. The accuracy of the results was tested through a recovery test of the pesticides in mature compost, resulting to acceptable recovery values.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture / methods
  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Conservation of Natural Resources*
  • Crops, Agricultural / metabolism*
  • Education
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Pesticide Residues / analysis
  • Refuse Disposal / methods*
  • Soil / analysis*
  • Vegetables / metabolism*


  • Pesticide Residues
  • Soil